Monday, December 31, 2012

Bidding Adieu to 2012 with No. 366

When I began 2012, I had a goal for myself. I wanted to see if I could do a blog a day. With this leap year, that meant 366 blog posts for 2012. I hadn't done nearly that many before -- if you look over at the left column, down in Blog Archive, you'll see 141 posts total for 2010, the year I started, moving up to 220 in '11 -- and I wasn't at all sure I could find that many things to write about.

And then I decided to go back to school in August, which meant time was even harder to come by. Along with "What was I thinking?!" in general, I frequently wondered if there was any way I would make that goal I set in January.

But this post, you will also notice if you're looking over there at the Blog Archive, is my 366th of this year, and my 31st for December 2012. Which means... I did it.

I don't exactly know what to say about that. Maybe thank you to everyone who helped me out by sending news or pictures, contributing to the blog directly, commenting, encouraging, or otherwise offering suggestions or support. And maybe I should also apologize to everybody who put on a show I didn't get to. I had good intentions. But sometimes there's just too much going on out there and sometimes it seems to all open on the same night and I have to pick and choose. Sometimes my love of TV and old movies makes me choose to stay home and watch Holiday or Trouble in Paradise one more time from the comfort of my own living room.

New Year's Eve and the countless end-of-year pieces in the news tend to make me sentimental and sad. I don't usually do those kinds of pieces myself for that reason. But I really did see some extraordinary work this year, and that needs a little recognition. Illinois State University's robust Mother Courage and Abby Vombrack's and Michelle Stine's performances in that show stand out for me, as does Illinois Wesleyan's sad but hopeful A Shayna Maidel and a luminous performance by Colleen Longo in Heartland's These Shining Lives.

On a lighter note, I loved Lisa Kron's Veri**zon Play during my annual trip to Actors Theatre of Louisville for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. And in Chicago, there was the sublime Sunday in the Park with George at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, which just may be the best thing I saw all year. Okay, it's totally the best thing I saw all year. Follies is my favorite show, but this George was something special. I always forget how personal it feels when Dot and George sing about moving on.

Stop worrying where you're going
Move on
If you can know where you're going
You've gone
Just keep moving on

Carmen Cusack sang it beautifully in a beautifully imagined production directed by Gary Griffin, and I was sitting in the front row. Jason Danieley's George was exquisite. Thanks, Chicago Shakes, for a moving experience. I'm trying to remember those words. I'm trying to keep moving on. I really am.

As I said at the top, I tend to get teary at end-of-the-year celebrations. If you are made of sterner stuff than I, or you've made it this far and you think you can handle it, Google is offering a Zeitgeist 2012 video that sums up this year pretty well.

Anything you do
Let it come from you
Then it will be new
Give us more to see...


  1. Congratulations! I didn't even know you had set yourself this goal, but I was certainly gratified to find that there was almost always something new and worthwhile to read here. You achieved the quantity, and kudos for that, but also uniformly high quality. Happy New Year, everybody!

  2. When I started the post, I didn't realize how perfect Sondheim's lyrics were for a New Year kind of thing. I thought I would talk about watching Fred Astaire for the New Year, like I always do. Oh well. That's where my thoughts took me.

    Thanks, Jon, for your many kindnesses and comments. I sometimes feel like this blog is our general form of conversation. That works for me! I like the other forms, too, of course! But just as I find new things every time I see Hamlet (or Sunday in the Park with George), I find out new things in your comments, too. Such fun!

  3. I think every other blogger will be envying you the idea to use those lyrics to mark the start of a new year. But what'll you do for an encore? :)

  4. Congrats, and Happy New Year! Your news, likes, and dislikes are always a joy to read.

  5. Thanks, Kathleen! Right back atcha!